Bill Hagerty is one step closer to becoming a US Senator for Tennessee, occupying the seat now held by retiring Lamar Alexander (R). Hagerty, a former US Ambassador to Japan, won the Republican primary for the seat, and in November will face the Democratic nominee, Marquita Bradshaw, a board member of the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club.
The Republican primary was of national interest largely because it pit pro-Trump conservatives against conservatives who have maintained some degree of independence from the Trump White House over the last three years. Hagerty was the candidate of the former group, and Manny Sethi, a trauma surgeon and a newcomer to politics, was the candidate of the latter.
Donald Trump Jr., the President’s eldest son, campaigned in Tennessee for Hagerty.
Indeed, some Tennessee Republicans sympathetic to Hagerty thought he erred in this campaign by tying himself too closely to the President, rather than stressing his own personal credentials as a former ambassador, a former private equity executive, and so forth.
The Thing to Know:
The seat is generally considered a safe one for the Republicans. Barring something unforeseen and surprising, Hagerty should defeat Bradshaw in November and assume Alexander’s place in the Senate.